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5 min read

The Importance of Digitization for Industrial Automation Companies & How to do it Right

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The beginning of the 2020s most definitely meant the beginning of a new era in many regards, including the world of business. Although exceptionally difficult times are not unprecedented in the history of the market by any means, it appears that the pressure on leaders and companies is growing greater and more intense day by day.

The challenges posed by the pandemic, the inflation around the world, and by the energy crisis are inevitable and constant factors in the life of a company. Leaders must seek ways to improve their organizations and consider innovative strategies in order to avoid failure.

Different sectors will need to apply different strategies - and even in the same sector, the level of advancement differs among companies, meaning that each organisation needs a unique plan tailored to their exact requirements.

In our case regarding industrial sector companies, there are different strategies to employ, one of them being the introduction of digitization. Let’s take a closer look at the situation of the industrial sector and how introducing digital transformation could help them maintain and even grow their business.

 

Digitization of Industrials – One Necessity for Progress

 

In the last few years buyers’ behaviour changed, and customers started to prefer online processes; it became apparent that those sectors that have not yet implemented a certain degree of digital transformation should waste no more time to take action. The same rule applies to the industrial sector, furthermore, as McKinsey reports, ‘industrial companies have long trailed behind retailers and other B2C players when it comes to digitizing their marketing and sales operations’. There might be several different reasons behind this lag, however, the data gathered by McKinsey below suggest that no matter the obstacles, the sector in question should consider digitization:

  • ‘Two-thirds of B2B customers prefer remote human assistance or digital self-service when making a purchase
  • 80 percent of B2B leaders said that omnichannel sales were equally or more effective than traditional methods

What is more, another article suggests that ‘the number of B2B customers using digital self-service channels to research and evaluate products rose from 20 percent in 2016 to 30 percent in 2019 across industries’. Naturally, these numbers constantly grow as we advance through the 21st century.

 

Benefits

 

Based on the numbers of previous surveys and studies, it is quite expected that introducing digitization in the industrial sector has significant and impactful benefits. One of the greatest benefits is that ‘digitization will reduce the time that salespeople spend managing existing accounts, which now amounts to about half of their work.’ Owing to mundane and administrative tasks becoming automated, sales representatives are able to concentrate on areas where authentic human outreach is more important. Data analysis and data interpretation are crucial tasks, nonetheless they tend to be quite time-consuming. With digitization, these processes become more time-efficient, enabling the sales developers to act upon prospect behaviour faster, more precisely and more efficiently.

Thanks to sales and marketing automation, dealing with new customers becomes less time-consuming and more cost-efficient. This notion means that although industrials usually target larger accounts, they are able to consider smaller businesses that have great potential for growth since they do not have to worry about low return on investment.

What is more, end-to-end customer experience can be greatly enhanced through automation and digitization. Better customer experience brings great many advantages in itself only – increased customer loyalty, enhanced brand awareness, and in the end, significantly higher ROI.

 

Issues and Complexities of Successful Implementation

 

Many acknowledge the opportunity presented and so there is an increasing number of companies deciding on adopting digitization, however, there is a high tendency of failure in the pilot as well.

Collected by and discussed in McKinsey’s report, a few of the possible reasons for the lack of success include the following:

  • Communicational issues in the organization, sales professionals are ‘not on board and stick to their old ways’
  • Often caused by the pressure of their competitors’ success, some leaders ‘may launch ambitious campaigns without appreciating the enormous resources—time, money, and staff required’
  • Presence of functional silos, breach in communication between departments

 

Overcoming Obstacles

 

Fortunately, there is a solution for each problem and some of the greatest issues are quite easy to fix with shared effort and teamwork. McKinsey collected three main factors of success based on their research – ‘a clear focus on impact, employee buy-in, cross-functional collaboration, and a detailed implementation plan.’

When focusing on impact, the company should concentrate on improvements that are sure to enhance the end-to-end process and buyer experience, making procedures more seamless. The importance of buyer experience is gaining a significant momentum in the B2B environment as well. 

Moreover, to avoid inner turmoil between functions, leaders of a given company must determine precisely and communicate clearly how each function should work towards the goal and how each could collaborate with the others to further enhance the implementation process.

For the sake of a detailed implementation plan, the company must identify pain points and determine certain groups of customers or buyers to create archetypes. Based on this information, they are able to create a plan that focuses primarily on the buyers while being time-efficient since the identified pain points are targeted directly and immediately. The image below demonstrates an excellent example of the categorization discussed:

costumer-journey pain points

 

Conclusion

 

While facing the challenges of today’s restless global climate, industrial companies have a wonderful opportunity to utilize for survival and growth – digitization. Naturally, implementing a methodology to a company that is unfamiliar with these solutions can be complicated and challenging. However, it is a necessity to employ innovations and keeping up with other sectors is a key for long-term success. What is more, there are different options and services for those who would like to make sure that their digital transformation goes as smoothly as possible.

Infinityn is an advocate of agility and resilience and aims to help and guide innovators on their way to make great changes.

To read and find out more about methodologies to help business growth and apply approved framework to your organisational structure, click on the button.

 

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